Police on Sunday
arrested a couple who are accused of lying to a
Pakistani court about the gender of the husband, who was
born female and had sex-reassignment surgery 16 years
father wants the marriage annulled on the grounds that it is
against Islam, but the couple say they married to protect
the bride from being sold into marriage to pay off her
uncle's gambling debts.
Shumail Raj, 31, initially went to court seeking protection
from harassment by their relatives, but the Lahore high
court earlier this month ordered the arrests of Raj
and his wife, Shahzina Tariq, 26, for lying to the
Raj told the
court he is male, but a court-appointed panel of doctors
ruled he is a woman. He said his breasts and uterus were
surgically removed at age 15 after his voice changed
and he began to grow facial hair. But the doctors say
he has a vagina that was surgically closed and no
couple's arrest on Sunday, Raj told the Associated Press
that the surgery made him a man and he married Tariq
to save her from the arranged marriage.
''She told me
that one of her uncles wants to sell her to pay off a
debt,'' Raj said by telephone from a police station in their
hometown of Faisalabad.
''I had told
Shahzina that I have had two operations and I am not a male.
But she said that it was not a problem for her,'' Raj said.
He referred to himself as both male and not male
during the interview.
His wife said by
telephone that she was aware of Raj's surgery and that
they married for her protection.
''I knew that
Shumail was not a male...but I begged her for protection,''
she said, referring to her husband as a woman throughout the
Aslam Tareen, a
senior police officer, said police will wait for orders
from the court before further investigating the case,
including the claim that Tariq's uncle wanted to sell
her into marriage. The couple are scheduled to appear
in court Tuesday. (AP)